The one thing bands always tell you about life on the road is that it gets old fast. Getting through the first month is usually a breeze, but it doesn't take long for the luster to wear off. And when it comes to combating the inevitable boredom that comes with life on the road, the dudes in 36 Crazyfists have tried just about everything. After all, when the majority of your life has been spent in the frozen abyss that is Alaska, boredom tends to be a constant foe.
Of course, there's always drinking — with the rest of your band, the other acts on the bill — or hanging with groupies, who're more than willing to help kill the time. But a few years back, while on tour in Europe with Bullet for My Valentine, 36 Crazyfists were fresh out of ideas — so they drank. A lot. And the next morning, frontman Brock Lindow awoke with a killer hangover and a full beard.
"It was a hilarious tour, and we were partying our faces off every night," he recalled. "There was this one night where everybody was pretty drunk, and somehow, we ended up with a dozen topless dudes in the back lounge, and everyone started drawing beards on themselves with Sharpies. When we all woke up the next day, I had a full black beard drawn on my face. We all tried to take showers later on at the venue, and I couldn't get the marker off. I had this dirty-looking face for a full week, and it wasn't pretty."
Chances are 36CF won't be too, too bored in February, when they head out with DevilDriver, Napalm Death, Walls of Jericho and Invitro on the Bound by the Road tour, which begins February 27 in Modesto, California, and runs through April 18 in Tempe, Arizona.
"We're stoked," said Lindow, from a beach along Oregon's coastline, where the band was shooting press shots this week for its forthcoming Ferret Music debut, The Tide and Its Takers. "And we'll just keep on rolling from there — we're hoping to tour through much of the year. Hopefully, we'll be part of one of the summer festivals this summer."
Believe it or not, 36CF have never been approached for Ozzfest, nor have they ever landed a slot on the Sounds of the Underground trek. That could change this summer, considering Ferret is one of the sponsors behind Sounds.
"Every summer, we kind of cross our fingers, and it just kind of goes by — that's been our story for years, and we laugh about it every once in a while," the singer explained. "We do the festivals in Europe, and hopefully this year we'll have our fingers crossed again to get on a good American festival. If not, we'll keep on trucking along."
For now, the band is focused on finishing up The Tide, which is being recorded in Portland, Oregon, with the band's guitarist, Steve Holt, handling the production duties. Lindow began tracking his vocals this week, he told Metal File. So far, he said the album — 36CF's second LP since they were released from their Roadrunner Records contract — is shaping up to be the band's most punishing collection so far.
"We're reaching for the stars on this one," he explained. "Some of it is real heavy, and some of it is not so heavy. It's similar to what we've done in the past, but we stepped it up a notch in both of these areas. I am sure some people will be surprised by how heavy it is. I am just excited it's as heavy as it is. It does have the melodic side to it, too; I mean, we didn't want to take a right turn on anybody. And the lyrics deal with a lot of things — from the war overseas to global warming ... but not necessarily those topics in one song. I guess I was just trying to capture the mindset that everybody has these days, and I wanted to deal with those things that, on some level, we all deal with daily. I'm not trying to be Bob Dylan or anything, I just thought I'd touch upon things people go through in life."
But while the album is very much coming together, because of mixer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Arch Enemy)'s busy schedule, The Tide won't be coming out as soon as originally planned — it's been pushed back to April 29. For the band, recording the album was a different kind of experience.
"I live in Alaska and the boys all live in Portland, so they would write their music, send it to me in an e-mail, and I would go to my buddy's studio to record vocals for the demos," Lindow said. "Then I'd send it back. It was actually so easy, but at first, we were worried about it, that it wouldn't go very smoothly. But this is the best music these guys have ever written, and it's exciting stuff. I'm glad we're at the stage we're at with this band."
Early next month, 36 Crazyfists will head back up to Alaska to shoot a video for the record's first single, although they've yet to determine which song that will be. Darren Doane (Every Time I Die, Deftones) has signed on to direct the clip, which Lindow said will involve many of the group's Alaskan friends. It will also feature "extreme-sports guys doing back-flips over bonfires" and a performance set at a party inside a comfy cabin.
The rest of the week's metal news:
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor will provide guest vocals on Walls of Jericho's upcoming EP. Taylor produced the yet-untitled effort, which is expected to be packaged with a live DVD documenting the band's recent overseas tours. Look for it in stores in March. ... Former You Hear It First artists the Sword have chosen Gods of the Earth as the title for their forthcoming sophomore LP, which should land in stores in the spring. ... A benefit is being organized for Patrick Mason, the late bassist for California metallers Arsonists Get All the Girls. Mason died in late November at age 21 from unknown causes. The concert will take place December 28 at the 418 in Santa Cruz, California, and feature performances by the Arsonists, as well as Knights of the Abyss, Elysia and Animosity. ... Hair-metallers Twisted Sister are keeping the $25,000 deposit they were handed when they were booked to perform at a benefit concert for the U.S. troops in California, according to The Orange County Register. The band is demanding to be paid the rest of its agreed-upon fee of $50,000 for the gig, which was canceled due to lack of interest. ...
Anthrax have named Dan Nelson (ex-Devilsize) as their new singer following the band's inability to re-enlist two of their former belters, Joey Belladonna or John Bush. Nelson is currently working with the band on the follow-up to 2003's We've Come for You All. "There's no place else I'd rather be right now," Nelson said in a press release. "It's a great vibe. I feel great, and I'm ready to go. I'm getting to live the dream, and it feels amazing. I can't wait for all these people who think Anthrax is done to be proven wrong. The naysayers are gonna be shut down, and the true-blue fans are gonna be pleased." Guitarist Scott Ian shared Nelson's enthusiasm. "It feels great working with Dan," he said. "The first time we jammed, we ran through a bunch of old songs from the John Bush and Joey Belladonna eras. Right from the first second Dan started 'Room for One More' [from 1993's Sound of White Noise], we knew. We said, 'Now that we've got that, let's work his ass off.' " On Tuesday, Anthrax will reissue two Bush-fronted albums on iTunes — Sound of White Noise and 1995's Stomp 442. ... Thrash legends Testament have named their upcoming album The Formation of Damnation. The band is currently working on the disc at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, with producer Andy Sneap. The album, tentatively due April 29, will be Testament's first record of new material since 1999's The Gathering and the first proper disc to feature lead guitarist Alex Skolnick since 1992's The Ritual. ...
Connecticut black-metal power trio Ipsissimus will hit the studio this weekend to begin tracking their Three Secrets of Fatima EP, which the band intends to self-release as a special limited-edition package. The band, which features ex-Capharnaum/Catalyst guitarist Ryan Adams, has lined up a February 6 gig with Rotting Christ, Immolation, Belphagor and Averse Sefira in Hartford, Connecticut. ... Floridian grindcore newbies Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky — which features former members of Bodies in the Gears of the Apparatus, Dehumanize, Diabolic and Leprosy — have inked a deal with Nuclear Blast. The band will hit the studio in a couple of months, and its debut is expected to drop late next year. ... While he's got some downtime from his IFC talk show, Henry Rollins will embark on the second leg of his Provoked spoken-word tour. Dates are scheduled from February 19 in Birmingham, Alabama, until March 21 in Raleigh, North Carolina. ... Canadian technical death-metal band Cryptopsy are getting ready to enter the studio to record their sixth full-length album. The disc will feature new singer Matt McGachy (3 Mile Scream) and keyboardist Maggie Durand (Howling Syn). Cryptopsy's on-again, off-again frontman, Lord Worm, left the band in April. The group has never had a full-time keyboard player. ...
It may be the title of one of his songs, but Rob Zombie has nothing to do with the Scum of the Earth Tour. The jaunt will be headlined by Throwdown and will also feature Soilwork, Through the Eyes of the Dead and War of Ages. "We haven't headlined our own tour in a long time, which is exciting," Throwdown frontman Dave Peters said in a statement. "We're also very stoked to be touring with Soilwork, who are coming all the way over from Sweden. And with Through the Eyes of the Dead and War of Ages onboard, it's a very strong and diverse bill." Scum dates have been scheduled from March 3 in Dallas through March 29 in Portland, Oregon. ... Italian death-core band Stigma have finished recording their debut album, When Midnight Strikes!," which will come out in the spring. The disc was recorded with producer Ettore Rigotti (Disarmonia Mundi) at DB Studios in England. ... Funeral Pyre will debut songs from their upcoming, yet-untitled third album on a short tour with Book of Black Earth that launches January 11 in Seattle and runs through January 20 in Hollywood. "These songs will be different than [those on] The Nature of Betrayal, but yet the same," the Los Angeles band wrote on its Web site. "It's a big cycle we go through. You hear the same music, but it sounds different. How does that work? I'm not quite sure, but you will find out in 2008."
[This story was originally published at 8:00 am E.T. on 12.14.2007]